Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A Letter to Young Women on the Temple

This week for Young Women, we spent an evening creating wedding time capsules with the girls. It was hilarious to watch how differently they all responded. Some had every detail already planned out in their mind, and others (like one of my daughters) didn't even know where to begin (and didn't even really care that much about all that girly stuff). In the end, though, it was a fun way to help them look forward to that important day in their own way. One thing we did as leaders was to write a letter to the girls that captured how we feel about the temple so they could include it in their time capsule. It was a precious experience for me to spend some time yesterday putting my feelings down on paper. I thought it might be fun to post here just for sentimental reasons....and I guess to share some things that I feel very strongly about. Here's my letter below:

I’m excited to take a minute to sit down and capture on paper what I wish I would have known when I first went through the temple. This is such a significant step in your life and I really don’t want you to take it lightly. It’s something you should give some deep thought to because what you obtain in the temple really will change your life forever—but only if you truly embrace what happens there and make it personal for you.

For starters, you need to know that you’re not just going to the temple to be sealed to your husband. Before that important day, you’ll first receive your very own endowment. In that endowment session, you’ll make covenants that in essence will invite you to offer your whole heart and whole soul and whole life to the Lord. You’ll promise Him that HE will be your first priority—even above your husband. I know that may sound odd, but when you put the Lord first, He’ll fill you so full of His love that you’ll be a much better wife and mom. When you’re living close to Christ, you’ll love your husband more purely and less selfishly. And the temple covenants will help you do that. It’s actually a really amazing process.

I think sometimes we talk so much about the temple endowment that we don’t stop and think about what the word endowment means. An endowment is a gift. And it’s a pretty mind-blowing gift if you ask me. In the temple, the Lord says He endows those who He has chosen with power from on high” (D&C 95:8). So that means, if you take your temple covenants seriously, you’ll be blessed with power to be an amazing wife and power to be an incredible mom and power to serve in the Church and power to bless other people’s lives in a million different ways. Life is hard (even after you find the love of your life), but when you go through the temple (and take your covenants seriously), it will give you access to the Lord’s help with all of your trials and challenges. Because of that, you’ll do more than just survive the hard times—you’ll prosper and thrive and flourish and it will all be because of the strength of the Lord. I don’t think there’s anything in the world that can make you happier than that.

So I hope you enjoy the experience of going through the temple . . . and I also hope you go back again and again so you can learn everything you can about your endowment.  If you soak it all in and rejoice in the life-changing gift the Lord is offering you, I know it will bless your life and the lives of your family no matter what you face in the years ahead.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

I Need Thee Every Hour

It’s been a tough week. Well, maybe I should say a tough month. It’s not that everything is going wrong . . . that’s really not the case. So much is going right. But there are just several nagging issues that aren’t resolving as quickly as my impatient little soul would like them to. Funny thing is, I’ve read all those verses that about how to find peace—and it’s definitely come in those small moments when I’ve desperately needed it. But sometimes I just get tired of mortality, you know? Sometimes I just want to crawl out of my mortal body for a while and go back home where I belong. Sometimes this world with all its struggles and strains and ups and downs doesn’t feel like my home at all. Does that make sense? It’s like I look around and think, “What in the world am I doing here?”

I had one of those moments this week. It was so weird. The TV was on and I sat there staring at it and watching the actors and thinking, “That’s just a stupid box with people on it pretending to have lives and relationships that they don’t really have. It’s so crazy that we sit and stare at this thing all night!” I had to laugh because it just felt so bizarre. On days like this, I just want to push aside all the stuff that has become so routine, and sit back and take a deep breath and remember who I really am. I’m not my To-Do List. I’m not those nagging worries that won’t resolve.  My reality—my true reality—is that I belong to Christ and I’m loved more than my mind can ever comprehend. And that means I’m never, ever alone.

So maybe I can’t crawl out of my skin and take a little rest in heaven, but thankfully heaven can come to me. Right here and now. So I’m asking for that very thing tonight. Not just peace. I’m asking for Him. I’m asking the Lord to be with me in such a real way that I can really, truly sense it. Because I need Him to be my Savior in a big, big way. Not because I’m drowning in sorrow or adversity, but just because I need to know He’s there. I need to hear again that He loves me and He’s with me . . . no matter where tomorrow’s road is going to lead.

(Just for fun, I'm posting some pictures that make me happy, because these crazy people really help me smile on nights like this. I'm so thankful I have them in my life.) 

Everyone watching a funny video Dad recorded on a ride at Lagoon.
 Me and my girls taking my son Kyler's new car for a spin.
Just because. I should have jumped in it but I didn't even know they were taking it. 
Yep, I knew it. I feel better already. :)